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Rank #14 in Philosophy category

Society & Culture
Philosophy
Documentary

Hi-Phi Nation

Updated 6 days ago

Rank #14 in Philosophy category

Society & Culture
Philosophy
Documentary
Read more

Hi-Phi Nation is philosophy in story-form, integrating narrative journalism with big ideas. We look at stories from everyday life, law, science, popular culture, and strange corners of human experiences that raise thought-provoking questions about things like justice, knowledge, the self, morality, and existence. We then seek answers with the help of academics and philosophers. The show is produced and hosted by Barry Lam of Vassar College.

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Hi-Phi Nation is philosophy in story-form, integrating narrative journalism with big ideas. We look at stories from everyday life, law, science, popular culture, and strange corners of human experiences that raise thought-provoking questions about things like justice, knowledge, the self, morality, and existence. We then seek answers with the help of academics and philosophers. The show is produced and hosted by Barry Lam of Vassar College.

iTunes Ratings

355 Ratings
Average Ratings
331
8
6
4
6

One of the best podcasts out there

By ___lauren---- - May 02 2020
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I am SO excited for this season! I adore this show. A show that teaches you complex philosophical arguments, without talking down to you, and also while yelling entertaining stories. It makes me think deeply about issues I encounter in daily life - and it helps me understand other people’s arguments too, even those I disagree with politically. The sound editing is also great, and I love Barry Lam’s voice - in additional to all of the insightful questions he brings us. I wish I was a student in one of Professor Lam’s classes, after every episode I just want to keep discussing. I can’t recommend Hi-Phi Nation enough

Relevant philosophy

By Dave Hamilton - Jun 13 2019
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What a great way they’ve found to make philosophy relatable. Kudos!

iTunes Ratings

355 Ratings
Average Ratings
331
8
6
4
6

One of the best podcasts out there

By ___lauren---- - May 02 2020
Read more
I am SO excited for this season! I adore this show. A show that teaches you complex philosophical arguments, without talking down to you, and also while yelling entertaining stories. It makes me think deeply about issues I encounter in daily life - and it helps me understand other people’s arguments too, even those I disagree with politically. The sound editing is also great, and I love Barry Lam’s voice - in additional to all of the insightful questions he brings us. I wish I was a student in one of Professor Lam’s classes, after every episode I just want to keep discussing. I can’t recommend Hi-Phi Nation enough

Relevant philosophy

By Dave Hamilton - Jun 13 2019
Read more
What a great way they’ve found to make philosophy relatable. Kudos!
Cover image of Hi-Phi Nation

Hi-Phi Nation

Latest release on May 23, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 6 days ago

Rank #1: The Illusionist

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Pyotr Tchaikovsky composed and conducted his final symphony in 1893. He died 9 days later, after having knowingly drunk an unboiled glass of water during a cholera epidemic. Deep into the symphony, Symphony no. 6, there is a paradoxical passage that, when played, no one will be able to hear.  This is because Tchaikovsky scored it to contain a musical illusion. We uncover the mystery of why he put it there.

Sound illusions reveal some of the most puzzling features of the human mind, most notably its insistence that it knows reality better than reality itself. On this episode, we listen to some of the most curious auditory illusions to find out how some of the features of sounds are generated by the human mind, rather than features of the external world. The illusions reveal something deep about some of the most treasured human endeavors, including music and language.

Guest voices include Diana Deutsch, Casey O'Callaghan, and Christine Howlett. Thanks to Kenna Tuggle for violin passages.

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Jun 08 2019

37mins

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Rank #2: Chamber of Facts

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Do people of opposing political parties believe in different facts? The mantra at the moment is that they do, because of media echo chambers, motivated reasoning, and ideological blindspots. But a more careful look reveals a different answer, with perhaps even more startling consequences. This week we follow two conservative Republicans who consumed a liberal newsfeed for two weeks, and we look at the empirical and philosophical problem of the way partisanship affects belief in facts. Guest voices include Janalee Tobias, Trent Loos, philosophers Daniel Wodak and Eric Schwitzgebel, and political scientist John G. Bullock. The episode is brought to you by the Great Courses Plus. Sign up for one month free at www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/hiphi.

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Jul 23 2018

46mins

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Rank #3: Soldier Philosophers Part 1: Moral Exploitation

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When one Army soldier discovered the propagation of torture tactics during the Iraq war, he engaged in a one-man mission inside the organization to learn about their origins, and the effect they had on lower-level soldiers who were implementing them. From there, he took on the Bush administration. Years later, he is training to be a philosopher.

As a new U.S. administration takes hold, with talk of military action against ISIS and the reinstatement of Bush-era torture policies, we embark on a two-week exploration of the philosophy of war. We follow the story of soldier philosophers, the first generation who served in a large-scale American war since Vietnam, returning to bring new thinking about the morality of warfare. On this episode, we look at the side-effects of moral decision-making on the soldiers who are asked to carry-out a President's orders. Guest voices include Michael Robillard and Ian Fishback.

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Jan 31 2017

48mins

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Rank #4: Be a Man

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Our ideas of manhood and womanhood determine the ways in which we raise and socialize our children, but how much does gender in a particular society depend on that society's relationship with violence? What happens when, all of a sudden, women are allowed to participate in a form of violence once reserved for men? This week, we investigate the effects and side effects of gender norms arising from militarism. Guest voices include two lieutenants in the US Army, LTC Naomi Mercer, Joshua Goldstein, Tom Digby, and Graham Parsons.

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Mar 21 2017

36mins

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Rank #5: A Better Love

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On our season finale, we follow a mother's love through the stages of life to seek wisdom about what love is, what love does, and why love happens. We follow five mothers at five different stages of motherhood, from the joys and anxieties of birth, letting go, coming back, being proud, and saying goodbye. We then turn to the philosophy of love and life, to figure out the role of love in the shape of a human life, and the significance of death in revealing the true value of our loved ones. Guest voices include Yael Goldstein Love, Tiffany Ward, Randy Scott Carroll, Diana Carroll, The J Family, Rachel Matlow, Elaine Mitchell, philosopher Susan Wolf, and philosopher Kieran Setiya. Special thanks to CBC radio's The Sunday Edition. 

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May 03 2017

49mins

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Rank #6: The Self and Survival

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In ordinary life, it is usually not hard to know who you are and who you used to be. For a small group of children around the world, their knowledge seems to conflict with what modern science believes is possible. On this episode, we tell stories of unusual childhood memories to examine the nature of the self, and what needs to survive in order for a person to survive. We delve into the strange philosophy and science of personal identity, quantum physics, and belief in the afterlife. Guest voices include Barbro Karlen, Dr. Jim Tucker, and philosophers Alyssa Ney and Yuval Avnur. This episode is sponsored by Warby Parker. Visit warbyparker.com/hiphi to support the show.

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Mar 27 2018

46mins

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Rank #7: YOLO Apologetics

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Drake coined “YOLO,” short for “you only live once” in 2011, and then later apologized for all the douchiness it subsequently engendered.  But the spirit is ancient, and cross-cultural, speaking deeply to the kind of decision-making that is supposed to make for the good life. It seems to be saying that risk and spontaneity should be valued above prudence and planning. Is that true?

This week we take calls from listeners about their YOLO stories. We follow two college buddies who venture into the Malaysian jungle, naked, with nothing but a machete and oodles of YouTube survivalist knowledge looking for the ultimate YOLO experience.

Meanwhile, philosopher Nick Riggle meditates on the significance of YOLO, and wonders whether living twice, or an infinite number of times, would make a difference to the value we place on adventure and risk-taking. Maybe not. The spirit of YOLO then, might have nothing to do with living once, but rather about living at all. 

Guest voices include James Moynihan, Daniel Olifi, Nick Riggle, and many Hi-Phi Nation listeners. 

This is the season finale. Listen until the end of the episode for big news about Season 4 of Hi-Phi Nation. 

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Jun 22 2019

43mins

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Rank #8: Creed and Credences

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Dave has been hunting for the one decisive piece of scientific evidence that will settle one of Christianity's most challenging questions. On this episode we look at two stories of people trying to reconcile their religious and empirical beliefs about the world, and hear from a philosopher whose theory says that their attempts may be futile. Guest voices include Dave Woetzel, Laura Jean Truman, and philosopher Neil Van Leeuwen. This episode is brought to you by The Great Courses Plus. Visit http://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/hiphi to sign up for one month free.

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May 01 2018

44mins

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Rank #9: Demons of Democracy

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Preschool kids get their first taste of democratic participation when they vote on their class name, and democratic private schools try to display the value of democracy by making kids vote on everything, even the school budget. Does it work or do kids make terrible decisions?

One diagnosis of our modern-day political problems is that too many stupid people are voting for stupid things. There are two proposed fixes; mandate that everyone vote, so as to diminish the power of ignorant and irrational voters, or find ways to disenfranchise all and only the misinformed people. This week we examine both proposals, examining whether compulsory voting is a solution to the problems of democracy, or whether getting rid of democracy altogether can be wise or just.  We look at Sudbury Valley and Brooklyn Free School, democratic schools where the people who are thought too ignorant and irrational to vote are given democratic power. Are there are any lessons to be drawn for our democratic problems from these democratic schools?

Guest voices include Jill Sheppard, Jason Brennan, Noleca Radway, Jonathan Ho, and alums of democratic schools.

Dave's Killer Bread gives second chances to people with criminal histories by hiring them at their Oregon bakery. Go to http://www.daveskillerbread.com/nation to get a free offer from them and support second chances.

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Apr 13 2019

53mins

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Rank #10: Hackademics I: The Control

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After years of unusual episodes dating back to her childhood, Anita went to the doctor and was told there was nothing medically wrong with her. "She had a gift," she was told, and she was sent down the street to an ESP lab. Parapsychology is the scientific study of telepathy, clairvoyance, telekinesis, precognition, and spirits. Or is it? The field has been pushed to the fringes of science for decades now. In two episodes, I first follow the study of psychics, and then the mainstream sciences of human nature, to see if they differ enough to make one worthy of belief, and the other scorn. Guest voices include Anita Woodley, John Kruth and Sally Rhine Feather of the Rhine Research Center, and philosopher Massimo Pigliucci.

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Mar 07 2017

45mins

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Rank #11: The Name of God

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With a small gesture of good will toward Syrian refugees, one woman incurred the wrath of evangelical Christians on social media. The resulting chaos helped write the next chapter in a thousand year-old controversy concerning Christianity, Islam, their shared origins, and the nature of God. Guest voices include Larycia Hawkins, Michael Mangis, Karly Bothman, Paul Griffiths, and Amir Hussain.

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Feb 14 2017

50mins

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Rank #12: Soldier Philosophers Part 2: The Morality of War

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For some reason, when people kill others in wars, we do not judge them morally and legally in the same way as we judge them when they kill in civilian life. Is there a justification for this difference, or is it only a convenient myth? We go to West Point to see what soldiers themselves think and teach about the morality of killing in war. Just as the US winds down two major unconventional wars, philosophers, including many soldier philosophers, are trying to revise hundreds of years of thinking about the morality of warfare. Guest voices include Ian Fishback, Jeff McMahan, Helen Frowe, Steve Woodside, Graham Parsons, Scott Parsons, Courtney Morris, Timothy Leone, and Saythala Phonexyaphova.

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Feb 07 2017

48mins

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Rank #13: Hackademics II: The Hackers

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One scientist decided to put the entire field of psychology to test to see how many of its findings hold up to scrutiny. At the same time, he had scientists bet on the success-rate of their own field. We look at the surprising paradoxes of humans being human, trying to learn about humans, and the elusive knowledge of human nature. Guest voices include Brian Nosek of the Center for Open Science, Andrew Gelman of Columbia University, Deborah Mayo of Virginia Tech, and Matthew Makel of Duke TiP. A philosophical take on the replication crisis in the sciences.

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Mar 14 2017

44mins

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Rank #14: For Women Only (pt. 1)

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It is currently very difficult to get your gender legally changed in the U.K, That might change. In recent months, philosophers have been drafted into making complicated and contentious arguments about what it is to be a man, woman, or any other gender in the service of advancing or blocking the movement for trans-rights and recognition. In particular, it has exposed a conflict between trans-rights advocates and a certain wing of feminism, a conflict that in fact has its roots in America in the 70s. On this episode, we look at the historical origins of this conflict by looking at a single event involving two women in the 70s, one of whom founded the gender-abolitionist wing of feminism, and the other founded transgender studies. That event, and those ideas, help us to understand the stakes and contentiousness today. This is part 1 of 2 on the metaphysics of gender, and in particular, the question of what is a woman?

Guest voices include Sandy Stone and Janice Raymond.

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Apr 27 2019

51mins

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Rank #15: The Cops of Pop

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Two records from 1983 achieved minor novelty fame, and then faded away, only to emerge 20 years later as the originators of a curious genre of pop music in the age of social media. This peculiar genre raises questions about how we should think about genre, musical aesthetics, and artistry in the time of industrially-produced music and digital reproduction. Guest voices include Jordan Roseman, aka DJ Earworm, Steve Stein, aka Steinski, philosopher Chris Bartel, and musicologist Christine Boone.

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Feb 21 2017

47mins

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